The Search For Modernity: Chinese Intellectuals and Cultural Discourse in the Post-Mao Era

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9780312217587: The Search For Modernity: Chinese Intellectuals and Cultural Discourse in the Post-Mao Era
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Over the last twenty years, Chinese intellectuals have actively participated in the re-construction of a new multi-dimensional intellectual discourse, generated from the complex interaction between intellectual ideas and social context. Virtually every major modern Western current of thought has exerted an impact on the development of this discourse, from Enlightenment rationalism to postmodern theories. The Search for Modernity looks at the changing relationship between Chinese intellectuals and society, and examines the role of Chinese intellectuals in the turbulent process of modernization, comparing them to their Western counterparts. Intellectuals in China are facing a period of confusion and uncertainty during this time of transition. The Search for Modernity is an important attempt to understand the philosophical dilemmas and challenges facing Chinese intellectuals as they define the issues of modernity within a global context, their self-identity, and their role in a changing Chinese society.

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About the Author:

Min Lin is Senior Lecturer and Chairperson in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Maria Galikowski is a Lecturer in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Waikato.

From Library Journal:

Lin and Galikowski, respected China scholars teaching in New Zealand, present a balanced overview of the unprecedented diversity, independence, and cosmopolitanism of the Chinese intellectual scene since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. Although their writing sometimes falls into jargon and necessarily goes into technical detail, this important analysis will attract readers looking for a follow-up to earlier studies of political thought, such as Merle Goldman's Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China (LJ 3/1/94), or the cultural scene, such as Orville Schell's Discos and Democracy (LJ 5/15/88. o.p.). In a linked series of individual studies, the authors show how philosophers such as Li Zehou, writers such as Wang Meng, poets such as Bei Dao, and religious thinkers reinterpret and synthesize a range of traditional Western thinkers, Confucian tradition, and contemporary culture theory. They argue that this vigorous new discourse provided the intellectual foundation for the success of Deng Xiaoping's reforms and that this discourse embodies and critiques modernity in a way worthy of global notice.ACharles Hayford, Harvard Univ. Summer Sch.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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